From cheese to maple syrup and public procurement, EU-Canada deal

Canada-EuropeThe European Union and Canada struck a multi-billion dollar trade pact called the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) in 2014 after five years of talks. It is expected to be signed by Canada and EU member states in October.

Here are some of the details of the pact:

PUBLIC PROCUREMENT

Federal, state and municipal government in Canada have committed to open their markets for procurement to European suppliers, a first for Canada in any trade deal, for example in urban transport.

Federal government contracts are estimated to be worth some $Can15-19 billion per year and those of Canadian municipalities at around $Can112 billion.

ECONOMIC BOOST

Canada is the EU’s 12th most important trading partner. The EU is number two for Canada, accounting for nearly 10 per cent of its external trade.

A joint EU-Canada study forecast CETA would increase bilateral trade in goods and services by more than 20 per cent.

For the European Union, this could boost annual economic output by 11.6 billion euros ($A17.29 billion) per year. Canada has put its economic gain at around $Can12 billion ($A12.2 billion).

TARIFFS

The European Union and Canada have agreed to eliminate tariffs on almost 99 per cent of goods. The beneficiaries would include, for example, carmakers or the EU textile sector, for which Canadian duties can be up to 18 per cent.

AGRICULTURE

The EU will eliminate duties on a range of Canadian agricultural products, from grain to maple syrup. Canada will be able to export 80,000 tonnes of pork, 50,000 tonnes of beef and 100,000 tonnes of wheat free of duties to the European Union.

EU dairy producers will be able to export more than double the amount of ‘high quality’ cheeses to Canada. Canada will also grant access for most processed agricultural products, for the EU notably wine and spirits.

REGIONAL FOOD PRODUCTS

Canada will protect the special status of certain EU agricultural products. Under EU rules, “geographical indications” may only come from a specific country or region, such as Prosciutto di Parma ham from Italy and Camembert cheese from Normandy in France.

MEDICINE PATENTS

The trade deal aims to create a more level playing field between Canada and the European Union, the latter having complained that pharmaceutical patents are not sufficiently protected in Canada.

CARS

The European Union will eliminate its tariffs of 10 per cent on cars and up to 4.5 per cent on auto parts from Canada, while Canada will recognise a list of EU car standards that will make it easier to export vehicles to Canada.

SERVICES

The European Union sees around half of the overall gross domestic product gains coming from liberalising trade in services – notably financial, telecoms, energy and maritime transport.

The two partners will also mutually recognise professional qualifications, such as for architects, accountants or engineers, making its easier for them to offer their services.

INVESTMENT

Canada is the fourth largest foreign investor in the EU and the value of goods produced by its companies there is worth more than all of EU-Canada trade.

The agreement aims to remove barriers to, and enhance protection of, foreign direct investment between the two parties, currently worth some 340 billion euros.

JUST BIG BUSINESS?

By cutting tariffs on cars and auto parts, CETA could lead carmakers such as Ford or Fiat Chrysler to re-align their operations, but its supporters, such as the European Commission, say it will benefit smaller businesses too.

In the EU, they would include Poland’s Ewa Bis, currently selling apples to Canada, but whose founder Mare Mare wants to sell other fruit and vegetables under a deal that might also set common standards on pesticide residue.

Germany’s Reclay Group provides consulting on packaging and waste management to Canadians, but wants also to offer the recycling services to cities and provinces with the opening of public procurement markets.

Article News.com.au

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